The following flowers that start with r are all attractive, versatile additions to the garden. Many of our suggested specimens are also easy to grow and suitable for a range of different garden styles and sizes.
Ideal either on their own, planted in groups or mixed with other flowers as part of a wider floral planting scheme, these are some of the 10 best flowers that start with r.
Yellow flowering Ranunculus, also known as the Persian Buttercup, is a cheerful addition to the garden. The small blooms sit on long, thin stems above lush green foliage.
A cool season plant, Ranunculus often blooms in early to late spring. While yellow may be the most popular color, cream, orange, red and pink blooming types are also available. Looking like a cross between a rose and a peony, it is a popular cut flower that can also be used in bridal bouquets.
Commonly found growing wild in many parts of Europe, Australia, Asia, North and South America, the Ranunculus is one of the easiest flowers that start with r to identify. Thriving in mild climates, in cooler climates the Ranunculus may not return the following year. Our guide to caring for ranunculus bulbs explains everything that you need to know about adding this romantically showy flower to your garden.
Ranunculus is popular for its intricate, showy blooms.
There are over 250 types of ranunculus from low growing spreading plants, ideal for groundcover to large 12 ft tall plants. Typically hardy in USDA Zones 7 and warmer, plant ranunculus in a sunny location in well draining soil.
The next entry on our list of flowers that start with r is also one of the most attractive. Rampion, also known as Creeping Rampion or Campanula, is a popular bell flower cultivar.
An ideal ground cover choice, Rampion can grow to a height of 2 to 3 ft in favorable conditions. Hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9, the plants thrive in both full and partial sun.
Rampion is a reliable flowering plant.
One of the most reliable flowers that start with r, Rampion blooms in shades of pink and blue-purple.
Before you decide to include this enduring plant in your garden, you may need to consult your local extension office. Rampion is considered invasive in some areas. The plant’s long taproot means that it is also difficult to completely remove once planted.
3 Red Valerian
Different from the common Valerian plant, Red Valerian, also known as Fox’s Brush, Devil’s Bears, Spur Valerian or Kiss-Me-Quick is one of the flowering herbs on our list of flowers that start with r.
Red Valerian is a popular inclusion in floral gardens and flower beds thanks to its rich red ornamental blooms. There are also white and pink flowering cultivars.
The rich red florets of Red Valerian.
Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) is, like many of the flowers that start with r, a popular pollinator plant. Its blooms provide a valuable source of nectar for many bees and other pollinating insects. A woody based perennial which can also be cultivated as a biennial, its long lasting blooms, which sit above gray-green foliage, are pleasingly long lasting. In the right conditions Red Valerian produces fragrant, delicate blooms from spring until the first frosts of fall.
4 Rainbow Cactus
One of the smallest flowers that start with r, the Rainbow Cactus, also known as the Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus Pectinatus), these plants rarely exceed 12 inches in height. An attractive and resilient specimen, the Rainbow Cactus produces large pink blooms on the top of its body. One of the more sensitive flowers that start with r, the Rainbow Cactus is best grown as an indoor cactus.
Like other cacti, the Rainbow Cactus tolerates drought well. Hardy in USDA Zones 9 to 11 it is more commonly cultivated as a houseplant.
While not the largest plant on this list of flowers that start with r, the pink showy blooms make the Rainbow Cactus a worthwhile choice.
5 Rain Lily
Rain Lily is one of the many versatile lily varieties that work in a range of different planting schemes and conditions. Easy to grow, their attractive blooms emerge in shades of white and pink.
Rain Lily (Zephyranthes candida) plants are named because they tend to flower after rainfall. One of the smaller flowers that start with r, Rain Lily grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches. These attractive plants are ideal for placing at the front of a border or along the edge of a path. Hardy in USDA Zones 7 and warmer, in cooler areas you will need to lift the bulbs and store over winter like dahlia bulbs.
The attractive and versatile Rain Lily.
A little patience is required when growing Rain Lily. These plants like to settle before blooming in mid to late summer. Best planted in full sun, Rain Lily plants also bloom in partial shade positions. The soil should be rich and neutral or slightly acidic, the Rain Lily struggles in alkaline soils. A soil test kit provides a quick and easy way to discover the pH level of your soil if you are unsure.
6 Rattlesnake Master
Rattlesnake Master, the next entry on our list of flowers that start with r, was used by Native Americans to treat poisonings, toothache, nosebleeds and other ailments. Also known as Button Snakeroot, Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) is a herbaceous perennial. In the wild the plants grow tall, grass prairies and open wooded places.
When in flower, golf ball shaped blooms, termed capitulas, sit on tall stalks. These are covered in delicate white-pink florets from midsummer to fall. Rattlesnake Master’s large blooms are further complimented by the plant’s blue-green foliage.
Growing to a height of 3 to 5 ft, Rattlesnake Master is an ideal inclusion in native or woodland planting schemes. When planted in mixed borders, the plant’s spiky foliage provides contrast while the blooms add texture and shape.
One of the taller flowers that start with r on our list, if planted in an exposed area you may need to provide some external support to prevent Rattlesnake Master from being blown over. Tying the plants loosely to a Bamboo Plant Stake should provide ample support.
Be warned, Rattlesnake Master is an aggressive self seeder. To prevent it from spreading, you will need to regularly deadhead spent blooms.
7 Red Campion
One of the wildflowers on our list of flowers that start with r, Red Campion is native to Europe and parts of western Asia.
Red Campion is an attractive medium to tall perennial. Like some of the other flowers that start with r, Red Campion can also be grown as a biennial. Sitting on delicate stems above the green foliage, red blooms emerge. As well as red, Red Campion blooms also emerge in shades of deep purple, pink and white.
Delicate Red Campion blooms.
Flowering throughout the summer, pollinators such as bees, moths and beetles adore Red Campion’s pollen heavy blooms. Part of the Caryophyllaceae family, Red Campion is one of the many low maintenance flowers that start with r.
8 Red Twig Dogwood
A good choice for adding color to bare winter gardens, the green stems of Red Twig Dogwood turn bright red as the plant loses its foliage in the fall. This makes Red Twig Dogwood one of the best flowers that start with r for providing interest and color to otherwise bare winter gardens. Flowering in the summer, as the cream white blooms fade, berries that ripen from green to white develop.
The red stems add interest and color to bare winter gardens.
Both the blooms and the green, or white when mature, berries are showcased by Red Twig Dogwood’s dark green foliage. Not to be confused with other dogwood trees, while both are part of the Cornus genus, Red Twig Dogwood is a flowering shrub that doesn’t grow to a tree.
9 Rose of Sharon
Another of the attractive summer flowers that start with r, Rose of Sharon’s showy blooms last throughout the summer months.
Blooming in shades of red, white, purple and pink, these plants are popular with both birds and pollinators such as butterflies. It is particularly popular with hummingbirds. Planting Rose of Sharon beneath a Hummingbird Feeder is a great way to attract these colorful birds to your garden.
The open blooms of Rose of Sharon are attractive to hummingbirds and pollinators.
Easy to grow, Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) or Althea is a popular ornamental flower. Part of the mallow or Malvaceae family. Ideal for flower beds, borders and hedges you can also grow rose of sharon as a single specimen.
10 Rose Mallow
Part of the hibiscus plant family, Rose Mallow (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is an attractive plant ideal for gardens in northern climates. This native perennial provides all the exotic floral showiness of the tropical hibiscus but is more hardy, meaning it can tolerate colder winters.
Rose Mallow blooms cover the upright stems.
Rose Mallow is resistant to both heat and drought conditions, once established. Flowering in shades of pink, white and red, Rose Mallow blooms last, with the right care, from spring until the first frosts of fall.
11 Rocket Larkspur
One of the more unusual flowers that start with r, Rocket Larkspur (Consolida ambigua) produces distinctive, fairy bonnet-like violet-blue blooms. These sit on tall spires above the foliage. Rocket Larkspur blooms tend to last from late spring until mid summer.
A key part of the cottage garden, Rocket Larkspur also adds height, drama and interest to other planting schemes. Thriving in moist, fertile or loamy soil, Rocket Larkspur spreads by self sowing. To prevent this, deadhead the spent blooms. Rocket Larkspur is best planted in full sun.
Rocktrumpet, the next plant on our list of flowers that start with r, is better known as Dipladenia. Popular for its large white, red and pink blooms which last throughout the summer, the fragrant, tubular blooms sit above shiny, deep green leaves.
Rocktrumpet’s fragrant blooms sit above dark green leaves.
Rocktrumpet is usually classed as a perennial plant. However, it is actually a tropical vine. This means that Rocktrumpet won’t survive colder winters. Here Rocktrumpet is best grown as an annual.
A bushy specimen with an unusual, downward growth habit, Rocktrumpet is best planted in full sun and fertile soil. Capable of growing up to 22 ft long, training Rocktrumpet to grow along a trellis or Garden Arbor is a good way of controlling its spread and preventing it from becoming entangled.
13 Red Hot Poker
If you want to add stately drama to your garden the next entry on our list of flowers that start with r, the Red Hot Poker, is the perfect choice. Part of the Kniphofia genus, Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily, is a tall, elegant plant. Dwarf varieties, ideal for small spaces and container gardens, are also available.
Red Hot Poker adds colorful height and structure to planting schemes.
Further adding to the attraction, Red Hot Poker’s bright blooms are filled with nectar, drawing butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to the garden. While red is the most commonly grown cultivar, yellow and orange types are also available. An ideal way to add warmth to the flower bed, the tubular blooms of Red Hot Poker sit above sword shaped leaves.
A popular part of the herb garden, easy to grow Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a reliable herb that thrives in pots as well as garden soil. The silver foliage and small blooms are just part of the attraction. Rosemary is also strongly fragrant, emitting a strong scent when you brush past it.
Fragrant and colorful Rosemary works in both ornamental and herb gardens.
One of the most versatile flowers that start with r, there are a number of different Rosemary cultivars including small creeping groundcover types and large shrub like plants. The delicate blooms emerge in a range of white, purple, blue and pink shades. Native to the Mediterranean, Rosemary thrives in full sun and well draining soil.
The next entry on our list of flowers that start with r is better known as Black-Eyed Susan. Whatever you call it, Rudbeckia is popular for its bright yellow blooms.
A reliable annual Rudbeckia is a cheerful addition to the garden. Thriving in full sun and well draining soil, Rudbeckia is ideal for both small and urban gardens.
The colorful blooms of Black-Eyed Susan cheer up summer gardens.
Sitting on long, elegant stalks, Rudbeckia’s large golden yellow petals surround a dark center. These flat petaled blooms look upwards towards the sun. Native to the North American prairies, like many of our flowers that start with r, Rudbeckia is an easy to grow, heavy flowering addition to the garden.
A shrubby, aromatic herb Rue (Ruta graveolens) produces blue-green foliage. This is complemented by yellow blooms which emerge during the summer months. An ideal inclusion in hedges, you can also grow Rue as a shrub or small tree. Alternatively, Rue can also be cultivated as a flowering, edging plant. As well as adding interest to the garden, Rue blooms can also be cut for use in a floral bouquet.
Rue is popular for its interesting foliage and blooms.
Deadhead the spent blooms to prevent the plant from setting seed and spreading, unsolicited, around the garden. Rue is best planted in well draining soil and full sun. In these conditions Rue is a low maintenance perennial herb.
17 Russian Sage
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a tall, bushy perennial. The slender spires of purple blooms sit over serrated or wavy silvery foliage. Russian Sage is similar in appearance to lavender. It is also fragrant, smelling like a cross between lavender and sage.
Russian Sage is similar in appearance to lavender.
Russian Sage is a low maintenance plant that is a good choice for cut flower gardens and privacy borders. Part of the mint family, Russian Sage is one of the many herbs on our list of flowers that start with r.
Russian Sage grows to a height of 2 to 4 ft and spreads 1 ft wide. Best planted in full sun, Russian Sage tolerates drought once established. Russian Sage is also a host for the black swallowtail butterfly.
18 Rock Rose
The next entry on our list of flowers that start with r is popular for its large, bright pink flowers and soft green foliage. As well as being visually attractive, Rock Rose (Cistus incanus) is also easy to grow.
An evergreen shrub with a quick growth habit, Rock Rose produces large, fragrant blooms which last from late spring until early summer. While the blooms last for only one day, Rock Rose plants continually produce new blooms for over a month providing a long lasting, ever changing floral display.
The large, fragrant blooms of Rock Rose are popular with pollinators.
As well as pink flowering cultivars, white and yellow Rock Rose plants are also available. Native to the Mediterranean, Rock Rose is a small shrub which is good for sandy coastal gardens and xeriscapes. The plants tolerate both poor soil and full sun.
19 Roman Chamomile
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelun nobile) is a low growing plant. This makes it one of the best flowers that start with r for providing groundcover in the garden. Like other chamomile cultivars, Roman Chamomile, also known as Russian or English chamomile is a flowering herb that can be used to make tea. It has a stronger flavor than the taller German chamomile cultivar.
Flowering from early summer until the fall, Roman Chamomile’s daisy-like blooms are both colorful and fragrant. Smaller than other chamomile plants, Roman Chamomile can also be used to underplant taller flowers, edge paths or add color to rock gardens.
Best planted in sandy, well draining soil, Roman Chamomile tolerates both full and partial sun. Like some of the other entries on our list of flowers that start with r, if the spent blooms of Roman Chamomile are allowed to go to seed the plant can spread aggressively.
No list of flowers that start with r would be complete without the Rose. A staple of many gardens, these perennial flowering plants are both elegant and timeless. They are also incredibly versatile. As well as flowering shrubs you can also find dwarf, climbing and trailing roses.
The Rose bush is a staple of the ornamental flower garden.
The colorful blooms of the rose are both attractive and often fragrant. Most roses thrive in well draining soil and full or partial sun depending on the variety. A low maintenance plant, knowing when to plant roses enables them to thrive in your garden.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.